For the first time since 2019, the Moose Jaw Police Service held its annual awards ceremony, where it recognized residents and officers for making the community a better place to live.
Nearly 100 friends, family and co-workers packed into the Performing Arts Theatre near the library on June 7 to watch as the police agency honoured people for their contributions to safety and for promoting positive behaviours in the community. The awards were for deeds that cops and civilians performed between 2020 and 2023.
Police Chief Rick Bourassa, police board chairwoman Mary Lee Booth and Commissioner Kim Robinson handed out the certificates.
The awards focused on:
- Teamwork: Presented to police or residents whose efforts were effective in resolving a major case or increasing community safety
- Chief’s Commendation Award: Presented to officers or residents whose exceptional actions resolved a critical situation
- Community Building: Presented to cops or residents who made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in the community
- Community Safety: Presented to residents whose contributions have helped make Moose Jaw a safer community
The Teamwork Award was presented to Staff Sgt. Chad Scheske, Sgt. Jason Watt, Const. Sarah Kristy, Const. Blair Torgunrud, Const. Peyton Denet, Const. Curtis Amiot, Const. Austin Abbott, Const. Brandon Braun, Const. Rodney Zoerb, Const. Jay Sills, Const. Shawn Mohle, Staff Sgt. Taylor Elder, Staff Sgt. Kevin Pilsworth and Const. Heino Izaaks.
Elder, Pilsworth and Izaaks were absent from the ceremony.
Chief’s Commendation Award
The Chief’s Commendation Award was presented to Robert Hill, Lindsay Hill, Sgt. Jason Watt, Const. Dan Chamberlain and Const. Casey Lea; Allan Tarrant; Owen Nichols, Marshal Ward, Sgt. Randy Boechler, Const. Chamberlain and Const. Jim Biniaris; and Const. Paul Thunberg, Sgt. Boechler, Const. Lea and Const. Ryan Forbes.
Burleigh and Shirley Hill accepted the award on behalf of the Hills, while constables Lea and Forbes were absent.
Community Safety Award
The Community Safety Award was presented to Heather Segall; police board Commissioner Mary Lee Booth; Darlene Geib; Ryan Boughen, education director for Prairie South School Division, and Ward Strueby, education director for Holy Trinity Catholic School Division; and Travis Phillapation and Nimone Campbell.
Campbell was absent from the ceremony.
Community Building Award
The Community Building Award was presented to Tanya Morland and Kirsten Clark with the Police and Crisis Team (PACT) unit.
“This is one of the best days of the year for me. It’s so good to be able to recognize people — both within our police service and in our community — (who) have done some pretty amazing things” to keep the community safe, healthy and strong and save lives, Police Chief Rick Bourassa said after the ceremony.
“We always look forward to recognizing people for the things they do because we’re all in this together. We’re all vested in having a safe, harmonious and inclusive community,” he continued. “And so many people contribute without even thinking about it … . We couldn’t be more prouder of the people in our city who step up all the time.”
It’s difficult to single out residents and officers for recognition because they regularly perform “good deeds” in the community, Bourassa said. The police service doesn’t always hear about those actions, while of the deeds it knows about, it’s challenging to recognize everyone because the ceremony could go on for hours.
Every year, the police service gathers the good deeds it hears about and evaluates the most deserving ones, he added. The organization will continue to honour its members and residents for their efforts to keep the community safe.